Clyde to Knops: “Don’t Insult the Intelligence of Statians”


Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- In a press release the leader of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) Clyde Van Putten says he finds State Secretary Raymond Knops is insulting the intelligence of the residents of St. Eustatius.

“In reality there is very little to show after two-plus years since the Dutch intervention on the island. The Dutch have failed at all levels”, according to Van Putten.

The PLP leader highlighted the present water shortage, which he cited as ‘one of the biggest biggest embarrassments and failures to date on part of the Dutch government’.

Little progress

Van Putten also pointed to the fact that so far little progress that has been made with the construction and repairs of the many roads on the island; an issue for which that the PLP-led government was severely criticized for by the Dutch as part of the ’task neglect’. 

“After more than two years with all the financial and human resources that were imported from the Netherlands it is only because of the local public Works Department that we are now seeing that roads are finally been built”, said Van Putten. Van Putten said that with many other issues, hardly any progress had been made since his coalition government was forcefully removed from office by the Kingdom Government.

Public Finance

The PLP leader is also critical when it comes to the Financial Management on the island. “I am appalled by statements made by one of the newly appointed commissioners who stated that they were still busy cleaning up the financial household of government” Van Putten says that he was hearing work being done on the period of 2016-2018. “If this statement is correct then it brings into question as to what was been done by his predecessors Franco and Stegers, who were appointed two plus years ago and made this there number one priority?”, asked Van Putten.

Colonial agenda

The PLP-leader accuses Knops and the Dutch government of putting up a smoke screens in order to implement their colonial agenda on the island. “Even in recent times members of the Dutch parliament have been voicing their displeasure and frustration with regards to the lack of improvement and progress since the Hague has taken control of the island”.

Van Putten also says that Knops in a brief conversation on September 22, 2019 while in transit from St. Maarten to St. Eustatius had confessed to him that he had ‘grossly under estimated the situation on Statia and that it was much more complex than he originally anticipated’.

The PLP-leader also criticizes what he calls an attempt to make it difficult for locals to assume certain positions in the current setup. “The Dutch are making it almost impossible for locals to fill the leading positions in the civil service, thus opening the possibilities for more Dutch Europeans to come and take control of the government organizational structure”.

Van Putten also stated that he feared that The Hague was only trying to set up a structure in which, in the near future, they would will ‘remotely control’ the structure of government from the Hague.


At the end of his message, Van Putten also called for unity on the island as a way forward. “It is not for State Secretary Knops to decide the future of the island, but rather the citizens and inhabitants of St. Eustatius. We need to stop the infighting and political bickering and unite for one common cause”.

The PLP leader concluded by calling on the people to wake up and realized what is happening before their eyes before it’s too late. “If we fail to do so then we will become second class citizens in our country and modern day slaves to the new elite which is now been created by external forces”, said Van Putten.

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